While there is no one who likes to get divorced after getting married, there are certain situations that pushes a marriage into the wall and leave couples with no option other than to divorce. Take for example a couple with irreconcilable differences such as abuse, infidelity, drugs, among others.
It would be close to impossible to continue staying with a person who is abusive and doesn’t respect you. You may try all means to save your marriage but all efforts prove to be futile. What do you do in such a situation?
Filing for divorce is not as easy as many people think, particularly if children are involved. Another thorny issue during divorce is the division of marital property. The whole process can be protracted and messy if the two of you are not seeing eye to eye.
Family law can be complicated. You need to understand the divorce process step by step to be able to speed up the process.
Every state has its own laws when it comes to the divorce laws. This means what is applicable in one state, may not be applied in another. You will need the help of an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that the petition goes through without a lot of hiccups.
Steps to follow when filing for a divorce in Texas:
As mentioned earlier, every state has its own rules with regard to divorce cases. If you are a Texas resident, there are steps that you are supposed to follow in order to launch a successful petition.
1. File a Divorce Petition
The first step for a divorce case in Texas involved one party filing what’s referred to as “Original Petition for Divorce”. You will be required to pay a filing fee ranging from anywhere between $300 to $350 to file a petition.
The good news is that you don’t need permission from your partner to file the petition. But you will have to inform him or her about your action once you are done with the submission. That literally takes you to the next step of the divorce process.
2. Provide Legal Notice
As soon as the petition has been filed, your next step is to officially provide legal notice to your wife or husband – informing him of your plan to end the marriage. Because of the acrimony and volatile nature of the divorce proceedings, it won’t be enough just to tell your spouse that you are divorcing. There has to be a legal record of notice.
This can be done in two different ways. The first one involves you serving your spouse with legal papers personally using a private process server or a constable. The second one is asking him or her to sign a document called Waiver of Service. The purpose of the document is to confirm that he or she is aware of your legal actions.
3. Cooling off Period
In Texas, there’s what is referred to as a “cooling-off period”. It is a 60-day period that the law prohibits any judge from signing a divorce decree to give couples a chance to rethink their decision. It is a period intended to calm down both parties and see whether they can reconcile and drop the divorce petition.
There are instances where couples change their mind during this period after negotiating and resolving their issues. But in case the two fail to come into any form of agreement, the case proceeds to the next stage after the lapse of 60 days.
4. The Hearings
The next step largely depends on the conditions surrounding the divorce case. If the two of you have managed to agree on a range of issues such as child custody, division, or property spousal support among others, then you will only be required to go to court once to do what’s called a “prove up”.
In this case, a judge will review the terms to which the two of you have agreed and will approve that agreement by signing the agreed final decree of divorce. This means the divorce process will take the shortest time possible, easy, and less costly.
But the reality is that most divorces do not take that route. When the two spouses can’t agree on issues such as division of property and child support, the whole process becomes complicated.
At this point, you will be forced to hire a divorce attorney, in case you haven’t done so yet. Divorce lawyers have vast experience in dealing with different types of divorce cases. He or she will guide you through the process and ensure that everything goes according to your expectations.
During the trial, the judge might request documents, records, and any relevant information in order to make a decision on how to award property and who to grant child custody.
At the end of the day, the judge will have to make a ruling and both parties will have to abide by the orders, regardless of whether they agree with it or not.
5. Appeals and Post-judgment Motions
After the judge has declared a ruling and signed a divorce decree, all parties have a period of 30 days to file a notice of appeal or post-judgment motions. At this time, either of the parties can decide to get married without court approval.
In case none of the parties takes any action within the 30-day period, the court will lose plenary power. This means the case is closed.
Dealing with divorce is not an easy thing. Many couples end up divorcing not because they like it but because of the circumstances they find themselves in. If it has reached a point where the two of you can no longer bear to stay with each other, then the best option is to separate or divorce.
However, agreeing on basic things such as child support and how to share marital property will save you a lot of money and time. You won’t have to take many trips to the court or hire lawyers to argue little things that you should be able to resolve yourselves.
Contact Vonda For Help
If you need help filing your divorce, contact me today!